Designer department store Harvey Nichols joined our Fashion Buying and Merchandising students this week to judge an Accessories competition set by their tutor as part of the course content.  The students were set a brief to design and product an accessory for Autumn/Winter 2011 for the Harvey Nichols customer.  The brief was to "Keep it simple by following Harvey Nichols brand values.  To create a product that is exclusive but accessible, that offers fashion leadership and enables the customer to have a feel good experience once it is purchased."  The students were told to explore shape, colour, texture, surface detail, scale and form.  Harvey Nichols were really impressed by the standard of work and the time and effort the students had put into design and production.  The winner Crystal Garza was selected by Harvey Nichols for its elegance and style.  Crystal designed and produced a gorgeous floral embossed garment bag.  With its simple lace triming the bag is exactly what the brief required and is the ideal accompaniment for any Harvey Nichols customer.

Crystal says "The Love at First Flight Collection is an upcycled luxury line from the CG Brand (Care & Give).  The main concept behind the line was to create a product that was marketable to Harvey Nichols target market, from the upcyled material, and could encourage generation G customers to purchase the item.  Thirty percent of proceeds from the garment bag (Americana) are contributed to Unicef, Red Cross, Save the Children and other various charities.

Researching the idea of the accessory product was a combination of fabric selection, customer profile and branding.  I reviewed the AW 2011 trend forecasts which highlighted soft calm colours and strong leathers as an emerging trend.  Most importantly, I visited the Harvey Nichols store to observe the range of products being offered to the customers.  My interest has always been in bags so I chose to design a product for this sector.

I wanted to create something sophisticated, durable and fun for the professional travelling woman.  Utilizing recycled materials I used an old leather cushion and the white embroidery was from an old shower curtain echoign the trend for white lace and embroidery..  The underlining material of brown and white vertical stripes came from the 'for a man' trend.  The interlining was inspired by the American folk trend.  I am really happy with the end result and thrilled that Harvey Nichols chose my design as the winning design".

Garnment bag design by Crystal

Bag by Clair Morgan

Hat by Kate

Shoe design by Kathleen

Headpiece by Rachel

Jewellery design by Viadas